Results tagged ‘ Rick Schlesinger ’
Less than one month ago, he was wandering the streets of Phoenix. Now, he’s officially a Milwaukee Brewer.
It was announced today that Hank, “The Ballpark Pup,” will make the move north to Milwaukee this Sunday on a Southwest Airlines Charter flight, joining Brewers executives, sponsors and family members on the flight to Mitchell International Airport.
Dignitaries expected to be on hand for Hank’s airport arrival include Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
From sun to snow, the next chapter of the pop culture icon begins this week.
“There are so many people who have been part of the ‘Hank story;’ fans, players and coaches, front office staff, media, and all of those in his circle of caregivers,” said Brewers President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin. “We’re grateful to have an opportunity to make Hank a permanent member of the Brewers family, but even more important, we’re thrilled that he is going to a great family that will ensure that he is loved and comfortable in his new Wisconsin home.”
Hank first appeared at camp on February 17, the day of the first workout for pitchers and catchers, and he immediately captured the hearts of everyone at Maryvale Baseball Park, as well as pet-lovers across the world. Stories on Hank appeared everywhere from the London Daily Mail to PEOPLE Magazine, and nearly every major national news and talk show across the United States. The interest in Milwaukee has surged, with “Hank Updates” appearing nearly every day in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other media outlets.
“We want to thank all of those who have made the effort to give Hank the care he needed down here in Arizona, as the top priority has always been to put his health and happiness first,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “In addition to this being a captivating story, our goal has been to shed more light on the issue of stray and homeless pets, a problem that is not unique to just Arizona and Wisconsin.”
The Brewers have worked closely with the Arizona and Wisconsin Humane Societies since the day that Hank first wandered into camp, and their staff provided counsel on how best to care for Hank’s basic needs as he adjusted to his new surroundings.
Hank made frequent appearances at Spring Training games in a concourse booth, where fans lined up for an opportunity to have their photo taken with Hank in exchange for a voluntary donation to the Humane Society. Through these and other opportunities, Hank has already helped raise thousands of dollars to support the cause.
“We are excited to welcome Hank as an official Milwaukee Brewer,” said Wisconsin Humane Society President & CEO Anne Reed. “We are so grateful for the amazing care he has received, and for the way the players and the Brewers organization have used Hank’s story to highlight the needs of homeless animals like him. More than 10,000 animals were adopted from the Wisconsin Humane Society in 2013 and it is that incredible support which makes Southeastern Wisconsin such a kind and compassionate place for animals like Hank. We know he’ll love Milwaukee!”
As for Hank’s new home, he has been permanently adopted by the family of a Milwaukee Brewers executive. To date, the Brewers alone have received more than 1,000 offers from others to adopt Hank and provide him with a stable “forever home.” The offers have come from players, staff and countless fans and team corporate and philanthropic partners.
Fans can keep up with the latest news on Hank and tweet their welcome messages to the ballpark pup using the #BallparkPup hashtag.
-John & Cait
Along with the many other enhancements this winter at Miller Park, fans will be able to enjoy year-round dining in a renovated TGI Fridays as the space is scheduled for upgrades this month, as part of a new contemporary design being implemented at Fridays restaurants throughout the country.
“Fridays is a popular dining destination for our fans year-round,” said Milwaukee Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “We look forward to enhancing the facility as it contributes to the best fan experience in a Major League Baseball ballpark.”
The facility, which covers 6,000 square feet, will see an improved restaurant dining experience. The newly-redesigned Fridays will create a fun, energetic vibe with a dramatically redesigned bar as the focal point of the restaurant, complemented with favorite Fridays menu items.
The project includes interior modifications and upgrades, new brick wall surfaces, updated finishes and décor and lighting improvements. The modernized bar will feature a new granite surface with stainless steel rails, LED accent lighting, custom wood paneling at the bar back (accented by multi-color LED lighting), columns wrapped with subway tile and new seating. The project also includes exterior façade enhancements at the entrances located on the field level concourse.
“The new design of Fridays’ reimaged restaurants, coupled with our fresh, hand crafted food and drinks, has been extremely well-received in other markets. We are excited to be bringing these changes to Milwaukee where they will be complemented by the contagious energy and personality of the Fridays’ team members who love providing a great experience to every guest,” said Ricky Richardson, President, TGI Fridays USA. “Brewers fans are upbeat, friendly and fun – just like Fridays – and we look forward to continuing to be a central place where Brewers fans gather and celebrate for many more years to come.”
The new redesign is tailored to the Milwaukee community and location, and is part of a larger re-imaging campaign that Fridays will roll out over the next three years.
NOTE: In order to accommodate the construction project, Fridays will be closed for construction starting at 10 pm on March 9 and is scheduled reopen for business, unveiling the new look the afternoon of March 15.
Other Miller Park improvement projects underway for 2014 include a redeveloped Toyota Territory, Brewers Team Store by Majestic expansion, a new Authentics Kiosk, the addition of an AJ Bombers facility, the new Brewers Wall of Honor, a Bob Uecker “Last Row” statue, refurbishment of the East Lot Tailgate Pavilions and new flat-panel televisions on the concourses.
3/10/14 Update: Here are some photos from the project!
-John and Cait
About TGI Fridays
TGI Fridays restaurants have a mission: To help people go out better. Because people deserve to be rewarded with handcrafted quality food and drinks and genuine, personal service when they make time to go out with their friends.
As the original casual dining bar and grill, TGI Fridays offers authentic American food and legendary drinks. To bring our menu to neighborhoods all over the world, TGI Fridays proudly serves guests with over 900 restaurants in more than 60 countries. Making every day feel like a Friday wouldn’t be possible without creating a place where friends feel free to hang out. That’s why TGI Fridays takes pride in its nearly 8,000 skilled and knowledgeable bartenders, all of whom for the past twenty years have competed annually for the title of the “World’s greatest TGI Fridays Bartender.”
The Fridays guest recognition program, Give Me More Stripes®, gives our closest friends exclusive insider rewards, events, and sneak peeks.
TGI Fridays believes in having a good time, but also in the importance of drinking responsibly. Additionally, its Responsible Business Program is focused on positively impacting the communities and neighborhoods it serves. For more information, visit www.fridays.com.
In case you missed the news today from Brewers On Deck, we, along FOX Sports Wisconsin, announced the addition of Matt Lepay to the television broadcast team.
Lepay will handle play-by-play for approximately 35 Brewers telecasts this season, filling in for Brian Anderson who will be handling national telecast work.
Lepay is a seven-time winner of the “Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year” Award, presented by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. Since 1994, Lepay has been the voice of Wisconsin Badgers football, and he is currently in his 26thth season as the men’s basketball play-by-play announcer.
“Matt is a great fit for this role, given his passion for sports in Wisconsin and his connection to fans throughout the state,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “We are thrilled to bring Matt on board, and look forward to his work on Brewers telecasts throughout the season.”
Lepay joined WIBA Radio in Madison in 1994 after a stint as sports director at WTSO Radio (also in Madison).
“Matt is obviously a knowledgeable sports mind and a professional who has established a strong connection with fans across the state of Wisconsin,” said Mike Dimond, Senior Vice President and General Manager for FOX Sports Wisconsin. “I think Brewers fans will really enjoy his approach to the game. We’re excited to have him as part of our broadcast team.”
A native of Dayton, Ohio, Lepay and his wife Linda reside in Cross Plains, Wis.
“I am honored and humbled to have this opportunity to be a part of the Brewers and Fox Sports Wisconsin broadcast team,” Lepay said. “I very much admire the work of Brian, Bill, Craig and everyone associated with the telecasts, and I am eager to join them this season. The chance to call baseball is a lifelong dream, and I thank the Brewers and FOX Sports Wisconsin for helping me realize that dream.”
Lepay will continue is his current role as the radio voice for Badgers football and basketball.
Craig Coshun will return for his 14th season of covering the Brewers, and will continue in his role as the lead pre- and post-game host for FOX Sports Wisconsin. He will also handle play-by-play for select Brewers telecasts of FOX Sports Wisconsin during Spring Training and the regular season.
-John & Cait
The Wisconsin Center was home to nearly 30 Brewers players today and a record crowd of 14,138 braved fresh snow and cold temperatures for the Club’s annual winter fanfest, Brewers On Deck Presented by Time Warner Cable.
The crowd surpassed 2012’s prior high mark of 12,118, and last year’s total of 11,722.
“We can’t thank the fans enough for coming out to warm the atmosphere downtown and helping move everyone’s thoughts toward baseball and the 2014 Brewers season,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “It was a great opportunity for players, coaches and staff to connect with the fans, and we look forward to seeing everyone again at Miller Park throughout the year.”
The afternoon’s highlights included an announcement that the Brewers had completed negotiations and signed free agent pitcher Matt Garza to a four-year contract. The announcement was made on the Main Entertainment Stage by Brewers Chairman and Principal Owner Mark Attanasio, who was joined by President of Baseball Operations Doug Melvin, Assistant General Manager Gord Ash, and Special Assistant to the General Manager Craig Counsell.
“That was definitely a great piece of news to break at the event, and the response from the fans was tremendous,” Schlesinger said.
Brewers pitchers and catchers report to Marvale, Ariz., for Spring Training on Feb. 15.
Have you ever had a fun idea for a Brewers commercial? The Milwaukee Brewers are giving aspiring marketing professionals a chance to show what they have with a new creative contest where fans can “Create a Commercial.” We announced our latest interactive contest at today’s Brewers On Deck event.
Funny, touching, serious—it doesn’t matter as long as it is awesome. Fans are invited to create and submit a storyboard with their idea at brewers.com/commercial. Entries may also be supplemented with a YouTube clip (up to 30 seconds in length) or Instagram video (up to 15 seconds in length) to further illustrate their ideas.
One winner will get the chance to direct and/or star in a spot that will play in Miller Park, on FOX Sports Wisconsin during a Brewers broadcast, and online. The winner will also receive a Brewers prize package including game tickets and a Brewers director’s chair.
“With our recent ‘Design a YOUniform’ and ‘Create a Concession’ contests, we saw how creative and engaged our fans were in offering their ideas to connect with the team,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “We place a very high value on opinions from our fans, and we expect a similar strong response to this initiative.”
The period for submissions opens today and will last until Friday, February 28 at brewers.com/commercial. An internal Brewers committee will review the entries and judge them from March 3 – 7. Then, from March 10 – 23, fans will be able to vote on the finalists at brewers.com/commercial. The spot will be produced at the beginning of the season. An air date is to be determined based on production schedules.
Entry form templates, complete details and official rules can be found at brewers.com/commercial. The winning commercial will be produced by the Madison-based production company, Provideo.
-John & Cait
Today we announced plans for several new additions to Miller Park in 2014, including something I am personally psyched about: the arrival of AJ Bombers. The popular restaurant and bar – with locations in Milwaukee and Madison – will occupy the outside space formerly known as the Plaza Pavilion, along the west side of Miller Park near the right-field gate.
AJ Bombers will offer cheeseburgers, egg rolls, tater tots, shakes, custards, specialty concrete mixers and more. The menu will also include homestand specials, such as city-themed burgers as well as player-favorite burgers. Their Milwaukee Burger was declared winner of the Travel Channel’s FOOD WARS.
You may have noticed that we teased this announcement this morning in conjunction with our #SeeUMarch31 countdown to Opening Day across our social platforms:
This was fitting as we really will see them here at Miller Park on March 31!
Can’t wait? Look for AJ Bombers at Brewers On Deck this weekend! Rumor has it they might be handing out samples…
Additional new upgrades at Miller Park include an expansion of the Brewers Team Store by Majestic, a new Authentics Kiosk for game-used merchandise, the installation of approximately 150 flat screen televisions throughout the concourses, and more. These projects are in addition to the previously announced “Brewers Wall of Honor,” the redevelopment of the Toyota Territory and a new Bob Uecker statue in “The Last Row.”
“It’s been a busy winter at Miller Park, and we’re excited to continue with our recent enhancements and construction projects as we focus on delivering the best fan experience possible,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger.“We are only a little more than two months out from Opening Day, and the activity inside Miller Park reminds us of that every day.”
Details about the new additions and projects at Miller Park include the following:
Brewers Team Store by Majestic Expansion
- The Brewers Team Store by Majestic, located in Miller Park’s Hot Corner, will undergo a 300-square foot expansion which will accommodate a larger footprint for “Brewed for Her” merchandise and apparel. The Brewers Team Store by Majestic is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.
Toyota Territory Redevelopment
- The Toyota Territory in right-center field will undergo a redevelopment from a private group amenity to a destination open to all fans in attendance at Miller Park. The renovated Toyota Territory will convert what was previously a 24-person private group space into an area capable of entertaining over 100 fans. At 1,493 square feet, the Toyota Territory will offer a unique view to take in a game.
- The “Brewers Wall of Honor” will commemorate Milwaukee Brewers players, coaches and executives who played prominent roles with the organization. The Wall of Honor will be a permanent exhibit on an exterior Miller Park wall adjacent to the Hot Corner entrance. Honorees will be recognized with a bronze plaque affixed to the wall, with their image and a brief synopsis of their Milwaukee baseball career etched onto the marker. The plaques are designed by Matthews International, designers of the plaques for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.The Wall will be unveiled in June.
- Unlike the statues that surround Miller Park’s Home Plate Plaza, the new Bob Uecker statue will be in the last row of the Terrace Level at Miller Park. The statue will pay tribute to the popular Miller Lite “All Stars” ad campaign which featured Uecker’s famous tagline, “I must be in the front row.” The statue will sit atop the Uecker Seats in Miller Park’s Terrace Level (Section 422), and will feature an open seat next to it, allowing for a perfect photo opportunity. The state was designed by Brian Maughan, the artist of the four statues outside Miller Park on the Home Plate Plaza.The Uecker Statue will be unveiled on April 25.
Brewers Authentics Kiosk
- Fabrication of a new custom portable millwork display for the Brewers Authentics Collection (game-used items) will be added in 2014. The Authentics kiosk will be placed along the first base side of the Field Level concourse behind the Klement’s Grand Slam Grill. Follow @MILAuthentics on Twitter for updates on the latest game-used merchandise available!
- The installation of approximately 150 flat screen televisions throughout the Miller Park concourses will replace existing CRT televisions, and will provide fans with the HD feed of the game.
- Three flag poles (one 25-foot flag pole and two 20-foot flag poles) will be installed on the landing behind Section 238, which is located beyond the left-center field wall. The American flag will fly on the 25-foot flag pole, while the Wisconsin State flag and a Brewers flag will fly on the 20-foot flag poles.
East Lot Tailgate Pavilions
- The East Lot Tailgate Pavilions will be refurbished with new wood fascia and signage.
Also on the construction front, the home clubhouse will undergo some minor renovations, including the addition of three lockers in the coaches’ locker room and an expansion of the players’ dining room area. Other improvements to Miller Park include updates to the executive office lobby, new flooring in the Brewers Team Store at the Home Plate Gate, the replacement of grow lights throughout Miller Park and the installation of a fire suppression system in the scoreboard control room and IT server room. In addition, the infield and outfield playing surface was replaced with new sod in October.
The Toyota Territory, Brewers Team Store by Majestic expansion and Authentics Collection kiosk was designed by Uihlein-Wilson Architects. Design work for AJ Bombers was handled by Flux Design.
Today we announced details of our “Fan-Tastic Forty” promotion that will award prizes to lucky fans who purchase Season Seat packages for the 2014 season. All fans purchasing or renewing ticket packages of 20 games or more will have an opportunity to win a variety of unique prizes and experiences spread out over 40 days. From Friday, January 17 through Tuesday, February 25, one Season Seat Holder per day will be selected to win a designated prize in the promotion.
Fans must purchase or renew a minimum 20-game package (or above that) to qualify for the drawing. Purchases made prior to today will already have an entry in the contest. Purchases made within the 40 days will be eligible for the next day’s drawing and the remainder of the prizes. For example, a purchase on January 29 will be eligible for all prizes from January 30 – February 25. The last day to purchase to be eligible for prizes is Monday, February 24.
“This has been one of our most popular programs to reward our valued Season Seat Holders,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “It offers our fans unique opportunities and prizes that create lasting memories.”
Fans looking to renew or get more information about new packages are welcome to call (414) 902-HITS (4487) or visit brewers.com/fan40. Full sweepstakes rules are also available at the website.
Prizes on the list for 2014 include a Brewers On Deck VIP Experience, an All-Inclusive Area Tour (tickets to watch games from each of the five All Inclusive seating locations), signing a Major League contract for a day (including big league pay), a $1,000 Shopping Spree in the Brewers Team Store by Majestic, and 2015 season tickets at 1982 pricing.
A complete list of prizes along with the date they will be selected follows:
January 17 – Team Store Shopping Spree. Win $1,000 to spend in the Brewers Team Store by Majestic.
January 18 – Brewers On Deck VIP Experience. Receive two free tickets to the annual fan fest, plus jump to the front of any autograph line for free autographs.
January 19 – Your Very Own Ticket. For one game during the 2014 season, your photo will be printed on every season ticket.
January 20 – Free Parking for the Season. Enjoy complimentary Preferred Parking for every game in your 2014 ticket plan.
January 21 – Game of Catch with a Brewers Pitcher. Play catch with and receive pitching tips and instruction from a Brewers pitcher.
January 22 – Roundtrip Airfare for Two. Two roundtrip tickets from Southwest Airlines.
January 23 – Tour the Roof. Take a tour of the Miller Park roof and get the best view of the ballpark.
January 24 – VIP Luncheon. You and a guest will sit at the head table during the 2014 Season Seat Holder Luncheon in the Johnson Controls Stadium Club with two Brewers players and/or coaches and Brewers executives.
January 25 – Slide Down Bernie’s Slide. Take a trip down Bernie’s slide before a 2014 home game and then watch part of the game from Bernie’s Chalet.
January 26 – Party Suite for you and 29 Friends. Take in a 2014 home game with 29 of your friends from a spacious Party Suite, complete with food and beverage.
January 27 – Carlos Gomez Autographed Gold Glove Print. Receive a one-of-a-kind Carlos Gomez autographed Gold Glove Framed Print.
January 28 – Owner’s Seats at Miller Park. Sit in the owner’s seats for a game with three friends and enjoy a visit from Brewers executives.
January 29 – Shadow a Brewers.com Beat Writer. Follow Brewers.com beat writer Adam McCalvy during all pregame activities on the field and in the Clubhouse for a 2014 home game.
January 30 – You in the Team Photo. One fan will be included in an unofficial team photo with the 2014 Brewers roster and coaching staff.
January 31 – Field of Sweet Dreams Experience. You and three friends will enjoy a night under the stars while camping on the Miller Park outfield at the annual Field of Sweet Dreams event.
February 1 – Lesson With Brewers Hitting Coach. Win a private hitting lesson from Brewers Hitting Coach Johnny Narron while you and a guest take batting practice before a game at Miller Park.
February 2 – Baseball Signed by Opening Day Starters. Receive nine baseballs, each signed by a member of the Brewers Opening Day lineup.
February 3 – Tickets for Each All-Inclusive Area. Enjoy a game from each of Miller Park’s five All-Inclusive Areas with two tickets for five different games in the special seating areas.
February 4 – Pizza for a Year. Win a one-year supply of Palermo’s Pizza.
February 5 – Throw Out the First Pitch. Throw out the first pitch prior to a 2014 Brewers home game, plus receive a personalized Brewers jersey.
February 6 – Club Suite Party with Craig. Win a Club Suite for you and nine friends to a 2014 home game, complete with food and beverage, and enjoy a visit from Brewers alum Craig Counsell.
February 7 – $500 in Concession Vouchers. Receive $500 in food and beverage vouchers.
February 8 – Harley Deck Experience. Win 30 tickets for Miller Park’s popular Harley-Davidson Deck, complete with food and beverage, for a 2014 home game.
February 9 – Miller Lite/Brewers Neon Sign. Light up your basement bar or garage with a Miller Lite neon sign featuring the Brewers ball and glove logo.
February 10 – Autographed Baseballs. Take home a set of baseballs autographed by each member of the 2014 Brewers starting rotation.
February 11 – Turn Back the Clock Pricing. Receive 1982 pricing for your 2015 season tickets.
February 12 – Catered Tailgate Party. Enjoy a Pavilion party prior to a 2014 Brewers home game, catered by DNC Sportservice. Includes 20 game tickets.
February 13 – Signed Bat and Jersey. Win an autographed bat and jersey from your favorite Brewers player.
February 14 – Gehl Club 4-Pack. Enjoy the luxurious Gehl Club experience with three friends for four games during the 2014 season.
February 15 – Guaranteed Giveaway. Receive every promotional item given away during the 2014 season, including all eight Bobbleheads and six t-shirts.
February 16 – Klement’s Tailgate Package. Receive a one-year supply of Klement’s sausage products, a grill and more.
February 17 – Lucroy Autographed Home Plate. Receive a home plate signed by Brewers Catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
February 18 – View From the Bullpen. Make sure to bring your glove when you and five friends sit in the Brewers bullpen as the Brewers take batting practice prior to a 2014 home game.
February 19 – Club Suite Party with Doug. You and nine guests will sit in a Club Suite for a game, complete with food and beverage, and enjoy a visit from Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin.
February 20 – You in the Brewers Television Booth. Spend an inning in the Brewers television booth during a 2014 home game.
February 21 – Signed Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura Print. Receive a framed autographed print of 2013 All-Stars Carlos Gomez and Jean Segura.
February 22 – Evening With Hank Aaron. Two spots at a table for the 2014 Evening with Hank Aaron Dinner.
February 23 – Movie Night on the Big Screen. You and seven friends will enjoy a private movie screening on the scoreboard at Miller Park.
February 24 – Season Seat Holder of the Year. Be treated like the VIP you are; throw out the first pitch, take batting practice at Miller Park, receive extra concession vouchers and more.
February 25 – Welcome to the Big Leagues. Sign a one-day Major League contract, complete with full uniform plus one day’s pay at the MLB minimum salary.
The Milwaukee Brewers organization today issued the following statements on the passing of former Brewers player and broadcaster Mike Hegan:
“We are very saddened to hear the news of Mike’s passing,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “Mike was not only a dedicated player and broadcaster for the organization; he was a great friend to many and much-loved in the community. On behalf of everyone here at the Brewers, I want to pass along our deepest condolences to Mike’s family during this difficult time.”
Hegan was a member of the organization from the outset of the franchise, playing for the Pilots in Seattle and the coming to Milwaukee with the franchise move. He continued his career Oakland in 1971 but returned to the Brewers for the 1974 season. Hegan remained with the team through his retirement as a player in 1977.
Following his retirement, Hegan spent 12 seasons with the Brewers as a television and radio broadcaster.
Bob Uecker added the following: “Mike was a friend for a long time as a player and also as a broadcaster. My condolences to (wife) Nancy and the rest of the Hegan family.”
I am too young to remember Hegan as a player, but do remember him as a Brewers broadcaster. Many who are my same age and grew up in the Milwaukee area probably also spent some time at his batting cages for either a birthday party or for some winter practice.
The 1993 season marked the final campaign in the Hall-of-Fame career of Robin Yount, and we will commemorate the 20th Anniversary of his retirement as a player this Friday at Miller Park.
On Friday, Robin will participate in a pre-game ceremony on the field before the Brewers face the Washington Nationals. He will be joined by former teammate and fellow Hall-of-Famer, Rollie Fingers.
Yount’s 20-year Major League career was spent entirely in Milwaukee and he retired following the conclusion of the 1993 season. His number 19 was retired in a ceremony on May 29, 1994 at Milwaukee County Stadium.
The celebration will include a presentation of an original painting commissioned to remember the occasion. The first 30,000 fans through the gates for the Brewers vs. Nationals game that day will receive a poster of the painting that will be presented to Yount during the ceremony. Yount will also toss the ceremonial first pitch.
In addition, Brewers Community Foundation will make a $10,000 donation on behalf of Yount to the MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer).
“Robin’s contributions to the Brewers are far too numerous to list, and we’re looking forward to welcoming him back for this special occasion,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “His time in Milwaukee was marked by great personal and team success, and it’s an era that will forever be remembered as a magical time for baseball in Wisconsin.”
Yount finished his career with 3,142 career hits and was the first player to enter the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a Brewer after being inducted on July 25, 1999. Yount broke into the big leagues at age 18. He won the American League Most Valuable Player awards in 1982 (shortstop) and 1989 (outfield), becoming the third player in Major League history to win that award at two different positions.
Over the All-Star Break, a small group from our Front Office had the chance to live up to our team namesake by heading over to MillerCoors and getting a behind-the-scenes tour, complete with the opportunity to brew our very own special batch of beer.
As you would expect from a team whose ballpark is named Miller Park, we have a wonderful partnership with MillerCoors, one that extends beyond naming rights; our newest all-inclusive area, the Miller Lite Party Deck; the popular Miller Lite Beerpen on Friday nights; and the various other events we work with them on year in and year out.
The brewery’s dedication to professional baseball in Milwaukee goes back almost 60 years to 1953, when Frederick C. Miller – the great-grandson of the brewery’s founder — helped bring the Braves to the city. The partnership with the Brewers dates to 1970, the team’s first year in Milwaukee.
“The Milwaukee Brewers and MillerCoors partnership continues a relationship between two iconic heritage brands from our market,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “We have great appreciation for the support that MillerCoors has demonstrated to the Brewers over the years.”
So, on Friday, we had the awesome opportunity to get know our friends at MillerCoors–and their product–a little better and I’d love to share some of what I learned with you!
We arrived at their main building on Highland Boulevard at 8am where we were greeted by Troy Rysewyk, Manager of Pilot Brewing Services. We were taken over to the Technical Center where Troy, along with Manny Manuele, Director of Technical Insights and Product Development, promptly put us through a condensed version of Brewing 101: Brewers Boot Camp.
There, we learned a little about the history–including Frederick Miller, the brewery’s founder–and the composition of beer. We talked about the types of beer (ales, lagers, pilsners, stouts); main ingredients (barley, hops, water, yeast and adjuncts), the process (including making mash, “pitching yeast,” and fermentation); and how to judge beer by AATMF (appearance, aroma, taste, mouthfeel and finish).
Then, it was time to actually make the beer and take a hard-hat tour of the facilities and we headed to a special mini-brewing operation where Troy, Kevin, Gustavo and Megan run test batches of new brews and manage quality control, among other things.
For our visit, they had come up with a special recipe they were hankering to try, one they dubbed “Crackerjack Lager,” which will ultimately have notes of caramel and peanut–sounded perfect to me! (Note: This beer was just a fun recipe–sorry, there are currently no plans to make it available for public consumption.)
We were able to get hands-on experience with the mash tun, lauter tun and brew kettle, adding the barley, corn flakes (that’s flakes of corn, not breakfast cereal!), hops (the type we used is called Brewer’s Gold–how appropriate) and yeast throughout the day.
One of the things that was very apparent was the amount of art and science, particularly chemistry, that goes into brewing and perfecting a beer. That’s generally something that gets glossed over on your average brewery tour. Also, the technology is amazing. The entire process is very controlled and computerization has allowed for vast advances in production and quality control. To make great beer, one has to understand the art and passion for brewing, which was truly evident by the people at MillerCoors.
Alas, since beer isn’t brewed in a day, we weren’t able to finish off our concoction and will have to wait a few weeks to be able to sample our finished product.
That’s okay–that will give us another excuse to get together with our friends at MillerCoors again and taste our product. And, just because we didn’t get to sample Crackerjack Lager, that doesn’t mean we left thirsty. No, we ended our day with a sampling session, tasting five different brews and exposing our palettes to a spectrum from Miller Lite, Leinenkugel’s Canoe Paddler, and Leinenkugel’s new Orange Shandy to a new beer that’s slated to come out September 1 (sorry I was sworn to secrecy!) and a special Anniversary Porter that Troy and his team brewed to celebrate MillerCoors’ 5th anniversary (sorry folks, it won’t be available to the public).
A fan of Summer Shandy and Lemonberry Shandy, I also enjoyed the Orange Shandy. It’s currently available only in sampler packs, but I’m told it will be out on its own in September.
My favorite part of the day (aside from the beer itself of course), was learning about how Megan Mares, a Pilot Brewer at MillerCoors and trained panelists taste the beer for quality control. Here’s a quick lesson for you as well!
Here are some more photos from the day!